No matter how much you love your business, sooner or later you will have to embrace retirement. A lot of business owners have never sold a business before and may not know what to expect. It is key to do everything possible to make selling your business, as well as the transition period, as easy for a buyer as possible.

It is in your best interest to evaluate what steps you need to take to have a smooth transition. Prepping your business for sale has many diverse parts to consider. Prospective buyers want to feel as though they will have a seamless transition.

You are the ultimate expert on your business. You are perfectly positioned to evaluate your business so as to ensure that it is both appealing to a prospective buyer and ready to sell. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition.

1. Automate as many processes as possible.

The odds are good that many of your prospective buyers have never owned a business. Make owning and operating your business as streamlined as possible. This way, the level of work involved in owning a small business will less likely intimidate prospective buyers.

2. Work with your employees, key customers and vendors to ensure a smooth transition.

Put yourself in the shoes of prospective buyers. Think about what may cause you concern if you were evaluating a business. Locate the areas of potential concern and do what you can to start remedying them. This should be done well before placing your business on the market. Anything that can cause a potential disruption may scare off prospective buyers.

3. Pick out your “second-in-command” before you sell your business.

Have a competent and proven “right hand man or woman”. A person that can step in and essentially operate your business is a very attractive asset when it comes time to sell your business.

4. Consider working with a business broker.

Business brokers are experts in the art of buying and selling businesses. They will help you evaluate your business and address areas that need improvement to ensure a smooth transition.

Taking these steps will make your business easier to sell and shorten the amount of time it takes to sell. You do not want the selling process to drag on forever. This is the last thing you want when you are ready to sell your business and retire.

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AUTHOR: Kathy McLaughlin
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